Friday, May 16, 2014

Big Batch Oatmeal Cranberry Cookies

These Oatmeal Cranberry Cookies are the answer for when you find yourself in a bind, needing lots of cookies for an event, wanting to serve something delicious and homemade, but not having the time to make multiple kinds or multiple batches.

They are chewy, oaty and crowd pleasing. I've found that even people who aren't fans of oatmeal raisin cookies like these and a single batch makes more than 10 dozen cookies. I recently made them for the Wednesday Community Meal and from one batch I got 127 2.5-inch cookies.

So the next time you need lots of cookies, simply get out your sheetpans and whip up these. You'll see it's not so hard to feed a crowd.

Here's the recipe:

Big Batch Oatmeal Cranberry Cookies

2 cups shortening
2 cups sugar
2 cups brown sugar
4 large eggs
3 teaspoons vanilla
3 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons sea salt
6 1/2 cups old-fashioned oatmeal
2 1/2 cups dried cranberries

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and line your sheetpans with parchment paper. Having a convection oven is helpful because you can bake multiple trays of cookies at once. Because it has a fan, a convection oven evenly distributes the heat and you don't have to worry about burning on the bottom or top racks.

In a large bowl cream together the shortening and sugars. You can do this with a hand mixer or my preference is to use a sturdy wooden spoon and really do it by hand. The shortening is soft and easy to mix. Add the vanilla, eggs, baking soda and sea salt and mix again. Add the flour and mix until combined and finally stir in the oatmeal and dried cranberries.
The finished dough.

Use a 1-inch scoop or teaspoon to form small balls. Place 12 of the balls on each of the prepared  sheetpans,  being sure to space them 2-inches apart. Lightly pat the balls down with your hand and bake for 9 to 10 minutes or until golden brown.

Be sure to space the cookies at least 2-inches apart because they will spread during baking.

Let the cookies cool for a bit on the sheetpans before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.

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